Monday, February 15, 2010

The Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics are occurring now on NBC. NBC was projected to lose over $200 million on the event because ratings for it were expected to be low. Surprisingly, ratings have been higher than expected. The opening ceremony was viewed by far more people than viewed the last winter olympics opening ceremony. Why do you think so many more people are viewing the events now as opposed to the last time? Have you been watching any of the events and if so, what has stood out to you?


Zack Harrington said...
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Zack Harrington said...

This is personal opinion, but I believe more people are watching the 2010 Winter Olympics because the event "hits close to home." The distance to Vancouver from anywhere in North America is actually quite close,it is three hours from Seattle and just 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Peace Arch Canada US border crossing. Therefore, United States citizens along the Canadian border are probably experiencing the excitement from neighboring Canada. In addition, I would argue that the popular growth in Winter X Games has generated excitement about winter sports again. I will be honest, I watched the olympics two nights ago because I thought a snowboard competition would be on. Although the snowboard competition was not scheduled for that night, I continued to watch our Americans compete in other events.

The unfortunate Luge accident has created alot of attention to not only the athlete, but his sport and the olympics. Due to the horrible accident, I watched a Luge competition because I was curious to how this sport accident occurred.

Ken Holm said...

Perhaps more folks are viewing the Olympics this time around because it's a source of hope. There are plenty of things going on in the world today that are negative: the economy, jobs, debt, recalls, war, earthquakes, etc. The Olympics have always been an event where wonderful things can happen. During past Olympics, and during these, the networks have aired inspirational stories about the athletes. During this time, when doom and gloom dominates the media, these feel-good stories do make us feel good.

Two things stick out in my mind. I head the media team at church. During any given service, we have lots of tech stuff that is going on. Countless times have we had a Homer Simpson "Doh!" moment where something doesn't work as planned. During the opening ceremonies, when the fourth leg of the torch malfunctioned, I empathized with that tech crew. At some point, after the "What in the world is going on?", "Why isn't it working?", and "Ok, now what?" questions were asked, someone made a decision: The show must go on!

The second thing that sticks out has been the big story about a gold medal drought for the Canadian home team. I am as patriotic as the next guy. I was happy to hear Canada won gold. It was a good story.

I would echo Zach's commentary on the luger. It was a terrible thing.

noelle carlin said...

The Winter Olympics has never been very fascinating to me personally, and everyone that I know is not watching it either. The Summer Olympics are more fascinating; however this year there has been more news coverage when it comes to the overall Olympics. For example, the bob-sliding Olympian who died while training, also the coverage on the girl who has been waiting to ski.

This year has been a remarkable year for China, and Canada both getting Gold medals in things that neither country has in a long time if ever. Canada got to actually play the national anthem at the Olympics for the first time. The media is covering more of the Olympics then they normally do, however the only sport I plan on watching will be curling.

Lucky said...

Go Team USA! I love this time of year because of the Winter Olympics. I can remember watching the Olympics for many years. I believe one of the reasons that people are watching the Winter Olympics is because of the reviews the last Olympic held in China had. The last Olympic opening ceremony was fantastic. China did an amazing job. I think people where curious to see what Canada was going to do.

The one thing that stood out to me was the Opening Ceremony. If I remember correctly, they said it was the first time that the leaders of the “Indigenous” people were welcomed as public officials. From what I have study in history, the Indians have always been left out once the “white” settlers arrived. For the most part, we have put them on reservation and have forgotten who they are and their past. I was happy to see the part they played in welcoming the athletes. It was a chance for them to showcase their culture to the world.

Another thing I love is to see are all the countries competing side by side. Even though I cheer very loudly for Team USA, I find myself cheering for other counties, especially if they have never won a medal at the winter games. During the Opening Ceremony, I found myself saying “I hope that country gets a medal.” I just love to see people living out their dreams of being an Olympic athlete.

Taryn Holland said...

This year the Winter Olympics seems to get more attention than ever before. I do agree with Zach that one reason may possibly be because it is going on so close to the United States. Anything is more interesting when it is within a good distance to watch first hand.

Even though many people love wins and happy endings, a lot of people get glued in to drama. You see it a lot with television shows and it grasps people's attention. Any tragedy of some sort will make people want to watch. And its not that people want to see something bad happens, they want to see what the result of it will be. Will the team come out with a medal despite what happened.

I am not a big fan of the Winter Olympics. I am more of a fan of the summer olympics. I have not followed this year as much as I should. I always hope for the best with USA!!!

Hartman said...

The first thing that comes to my mind is just how fallible TV ratings predictions is. So many factors go into our decisions about what we watch on TV that predictions are just that - predictions. I think a number of factors are contributing to increased viewership of this Olympics over the previous Winter Olympics. Most important, I would guess, is the location being in close proximity to the US. For one, as others have pointed out, we are naturally more likely to have some personal connection to Canada. For instance, I am currently working with a technology consultant who lives in Seattle and is attending the games this week. Another advantage of close proximity is that more of the coverage can be broadcast live. Sports fans want to see the action live.
Another aspect of the location is not the physical proximity, but other aspects of our relationship with Canada. I don't know how to assess what the impact to TV viewership is, but we have a "relationship" with Canada. Whether it is curiosity, contempt, or competitiveness, most Americans have some preconceived feelings and notions toward our neighbors to the North.
Another major contributing factor has to be news surrounding the events. In this case, the tragic death of the Georgian luger. The news coverage has no doubt increased interest and viewership.

I think the state of the economy plays several factors in viewership. For one, we have more unemployed workers who are at home watching TV instead of being at work. Maybe, also, more people have discontinued or reduced their cable TV service and are watching broadcast TV instead. Maybe, too, people are choosing to stay home as opposed to going out.

E. McGraw said...

The Winter Olympics I believed have been a big success now that you have alot more people getting involved with the sports and also enjoy watching them as well.

I have watched a little bit of the Olmypics and so far the U.S. have been ahead in the competition according to NBC news. I think that it is good to see that people in the U.S have about as much talent as all other countries.

Laura Chisolm said...

I think that the Olympics is an exciting time and usually I like summer Olympics over the winter Olympics. I think more people are watching because these athletes have trained so hard for their sport and it shows others their perserverence. So many people want to give up when the going gets tough and when you hear the stories of the atletes it makes you want to keep going.

I agree that in the media there is so many sad stories and tradgety goining on in the world right now. It is a good that something positive is happening for us to watch.

Go USA! I also enjoy watching other countries win. I think NBC does a good job covering the Olympics.

Tanya Mathews said...

This was the first opening ceremony that I have missed in many years. But, after I saw the topic for this weeks blog, I went to the NBC Olympic web site and viewed the parts of the opening ceremony that was available. That must have been a spectacular show in person. I found it interesting the bringing together the four aboriginal nations to open the Winter games. The only part of the ceremony that I viewed online that I found less than pleasing or spectacular was the opera singer singing the Olympic Anthem. In my opinion, it would have served a better purpose for entertainment aspects to have it rocked out by a Canadian rock band. At least you could have understood the words.

I believe the ratings are above expectations because people want to take time out to forget about their life problems and issues. In today's economy, the general population is having a difficult time just dealing with day to day issues. The games gives them a time to sit back, relax, and root for their olympic representatives. The games are a positive for everyone; win or lose.

I have enjoyed the background stories on the athletes. The long road that most of them has had to journey to get to where they are now is remarkable. The two most touching are the stories about the pairs figure skaters from China and the men's mogul gold medalist from Canada.

The couple from China has been together for over 18 years and came out of retirement for the games in Vancouver. At one of the previous winter games, he proposed to her on center ice. They had never won a medal, but won the gold at this event.

The Canadian that won the gold medal for the men's mogul has a very proud brother. His brother has cerebral palsy and whne asked if his brother was the second happiest man in Canada, the olympic medalist smiled and replied, "No, he is THE happiest man in Canada!"

So many have worked, trained and given up so much to represent their respective countries. All of them are to be commended. Everyone's heart went out to the olumpian from the state of Georgia that lost his life. It was such a tragic event, but even with safety first, the winter games can be quite dangerous.

Since I missed the opening ceremony, I won't miss the closing. I hope it is just as grand as the opening.

Mary Catherine Carmichael said...

I personally think that more people are watching the Olympics because of the economic times we are in right now. I know more of my friends are having family nights instead of going out all the time. When my children were little we loved watching the Olympics together as a family.

I have watched a few minutes of the Olympics, not being a big viewer of television I have to make myself watch. The speed skating competion has been about the only portion that I have watched and had my son not been there watching it I probably would not have watched then. It's not that I don't like the Olympics because I really do I just don't have time with work, school, church, grandchildren etc I just find that I spend my time doing other things.

Anita Griffin said...

The Winter Olympics are exciting, but I am more of a fan of the Summer Olympics. With the Winter Olympics following just five days after the super bowl, I think people are still excited from the game, followed by more excitement from the Olympics. The Winter Olympics was created because of the success of the summer Olympics. It saddened me when Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed after flying off the track wall and hitting a steel pylon. This track is considered one of the fastest tracks in the world. There has been talk about the networks loosing millions, but instead of losing millions they are making millions. I try to catch the highlights of the Olympics each night when I can not watch it on television. It’s amazing at all of the talent that’s in the world and so much talent right here in the United States.

brandy pieper said...

I believe so many are watching the Olympics this time around due to the circumstance that our Nation is in. Its entertainment without spending money, people don’t have the resources anymore to go out and this is an easy alternative. I’d have to agree that I think a lot of people are watching because it is so close and has received a lot of media coverage, and people, I think, are curious what Canada has to offer in the form of an opening ceremony. People were all abuzz over China’s opening ceremonies, there’s a curiosity to see if Canada can compete. I have never seen either opening ceremony, but I would like to see Canada’s, mostly due to the fact that I have no idea what Canada has to offer in the form of entertainment or ceremony. I haven’t watched any of these Olympic games, I’d have to agree that they’re not as intriguing for me personally as the summer games are.

Paul Miller said...

I feel that one of the reasons that people are watching the Olympics this year is all the snow the country has received. The games are showed during the daytime and it is better than reruns and soaps. Where I live in Virginia, we got hit with close to 30 inches in the last month. Northern Virginia and the northeast have gotten it much worse. So, there are many people that are stuck at home with nothing to do.

Another reason people are watching is that the summer games in 2008 were exciting. That was the first Olympics that I watched from beginning to end. It was fun learning about the different athletes and cheering for team USA. I think that many people that watch those games enjoyed them and are willing to watch the winter games as well.

I have not had a chance to watch any of the winter games with school and work taking up most of my time. But, my wife has and she says that it has been as exciting as the summer games. If I do manage to free up some time, I do plan to watch.

Alvin McKinley said...

It surprising to see the number of viewers rising by almost 50 percent. I think the reasons are the proximity to home, bad economy, and the previous performance of the US team in the Summer Olympics. I think that in the times like these people need something to believe in subconsciously, watch the examples of achievement. And that's what they can get from watching the Olympics. Also, watching US team win is something to help lift the spirit and see that things are not that bad. The Olympics opened right after the Superbowl and I guess the excitement for sports just carried over. It was a good and unexpected game. Maybe people are looking for the same kind of unexpected in the Olympics.
I didn't follow the weather this season across the country, but it is possible that people watched the Olympics due to the snowy weather we had.

Brandy Stuart said...

The winter Olympics have had alot of plblisaty this year then others. I belive that its for many reasons like others have said the economy may play a large roll in the viewers. (unemplyed, hope, dreams) I personaly have only viewed it here and there. I saw on the news where the young man was killed in practice and where they were haveing alot of sunshine and high tempatures. I also saw where they were not allowing people around or near the tourches. I think the only reason that I veiwed them was because were had some snow days. I hardly watch tv just for fun. Most of free time is studying or spending time with my family.

Sandra Perkins said...

I have been watching the winter Olympics and I have been really impressed. The opening ceremony was phenomenal. I feel that people are watching the winter Olympics because they are coming off the heels of the summer Olympics. We love to see AMERICA compete and be victorious. I have been watching ALL of the events. My favorite participants are Shawn White, Lindsey Vonn and Shani Davis. These individuals have dominated their sporting events. I believe that people are watching the events to keep their minds off of the depressing news that plagues our society. So if the Olympics can allow people to escape for a few hours to focus on the good instead of the bad – I believe they will take the good every time. The focal point to me was the tragedy of the Georgian Luger. People have really shown compassion towards this player’s family. It makes a person realize that life can be snatched away in a moment’s notice. And we shouldn’t take anything or anyone for granted.

Chris Stallworth said...

I believe the Winter Olympics are getting more attention from viewers due to a number of reasons.

One reason, I believe, is due to the increase in advertisement and promotion about the Winter Olympics. During the past 2-3 weeks I have seen more information concerning the participants in the Winter Olympics than in the past. Everyday on mediums like Yahoo or MSN, there are updates about events, athletes, and rankings on the home page of the site. For me, a person not particularly interested in the Winter Olympics, all the information about these events being provided on a consistent basis has increased my curiosity and prompted me to watch a few events. To me, it seems that this year's Olympics are getting more attention than the Superbowl.

Another reason I believe the Olympics are getting more attention than anticipated is because of the unfortunate accident during the Luge event. Some of the articles addressing this tragedy have enticed some people to watch the event just to see how it's done. In addition, I think that more athletes involved in the Winter Olympics are slightly more well known due to advertisement, interviews, etc. Which will spark an interest in people to find out how that athlete performs.

Lastly, the location of the Olympics probably has a lot to do with the interest of the viewers living in the United States. I typically pay more attention to the Summer Olympics, but when they are held in a foreign country whose proximity is further than a 12 hour plain ride I usually do not watch as many of the events as I did when they were hosted in Atlanta, for example. I know that's just my personal take on the situation, but there may be more people that have a similar method when it comes to watching events like these.

Overall, I believe this is an example of how the media can affect the public's behavior and intern how the public affects the media. With more exposure about an event, such as the Winter Olympics, comes more interest or sheer curiosity. Moreover, the more people watch the show and respond to posts on websites by clicking the links, the more will be provided.

ryan said...

I think one of the reasons is of all the publicity this year's Olympics has recieved. I dont really remember any other winter olympics in the past that has been advertised as much as this one. There are several high profile people competing in this years that may have not competed in the past, or may have competed they are just now getting recognition.

Another reason is how well the United States is doing in the olympics. We are currently leading in gold medals, silver medals, and bronze medals, i dont think i have ever seen that done before, at least not by the U.S.

Another reason i have noticed is the controvery in this years olympics. First there was the controversial cover photo of sports illustrated by one of the female skiers. And also, the smack talking between the u.s. figure skater, and i forget what country the other guy is from. But smack talking between figure skaters? I definitley dont remember anything like that from previous olympics.

Vanessa Collier said...

Unfortunately, I have not been watching the winter olympics this year. However, I have followed a few of the stories in the news. I don't have much time to sit down and watch the olympics, but that doesn't mean that I'm not proud of the USA team. These olympic athletes are amazing and very inspiring, and I am very proud of how well the USA team is doing. The USA team is an inspiration for the entire United States, and that is why I believe so many people are watching this year. The United States is coming together to support the USA team, pulling for our athletes and wanting them to do well and be successful.

As I said before, I have not watched any of the events; however, I have followed the Lindsey Vonn story. After an injury, it looked as if she would not be able to compete, but she showed courage and determination on her way to an olympic gold and bronze medal so far. She has not only inspired me but the rest of the women competitors with her strong will to compete for her country, in a once in a lifetime atmosphere.

Angela Doles said...

I think the Olympics have become so popular because of our economic times and since they are so close to home. Many people look at the Olympics as hope for our country and surrounding countries. Many families are watching the games together and parents do not have to worry about inappropriate scenes or language during the program. So many tv stations air tv shows that parents feel are inappropriate for younger children. It has been really great to see so many Americans winning the games, but the sportsmanship and love that seems to be shared by all is a reassuring of the future. The participants of the Olympics seem to care about one another and nobody is arguing or fighting during the games. So many of our peewee games, high school games, and summer programs have become competitive and sometimes become violent when parents or children do not win. The Olympics show children that they can be competitive but in a good way and they can still love one another even if they do not win. I have really enjoyed watching Lindsey Vonn during the Olympics. No matter what has happened to her she has kept a postive attitude and she still aimed for the top.

Jack Elliott III said...

I'm really not sure why more people are watching the Olympics this year as opossed to four years ago. There could be many reasons for this. Some might watch it for the simple fact that it is in Canada. More people might find it more intertaining knowing that it is on the same continent. I have watched just about every minute of the Olympics this year. But this time I am watching it more than when it was it Italy four years ago. Another reason might be for the simple fact that everyone wants to support America more than ever. For the most part it seems like most countries dis like us and many Americans want to show their support for their country.

As I said before yes I have been watching the Olympics this years, and several stories have stood out to me. One is Apollo Ohno winning his seventh total metal in his Olympic career becoming the all time metal leader in US Winter Olympic history. Also Shani Davis and Shaun White repeating on their gold metal wins from four years ago. But the most amazing story to me would have to be the Canadian skier who won gold for the first time for Canada in their own country. That would be enough for everyone to get excited about but his story is more special. His older brother is severally hadicapped and also his biggest support, and when he did see his brother win the look on his face was priceless.

Sandy said...

The Winter Olympics occurs every four years. In 2006, the Winter Olympics were held in Turin, Italy and was broadcast world-wide. Six United States television stations broadcasted the 2006 Winter Olympics. Many Americans were upset with the news media coverage, because of tape-delays. Tape-delays were done to allow primetime viewing of Olympic events. Some events were not broadcast to the American public until eighteen hours later. By this time, other news outlets had already reported winners before the event was even shown in America. Another reason Americans were uninterested in the 2006 Winter Olympics was because American athletes did not perform as expected.

The 2010 Winter Olympics is being held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. NBC is the only television news media outlet that is covering the event. I believe that this year’s Winter Olympics is widely popular for a couple of reasons. First, Canada is close to the United States, and attracts the attention of Americans. Another reason is the Associated Press provides up-to-the-minute coverage via online websites. Honestly, I have watched a few events, but have not been totally engrossed in the Winter Olympics. I have noticed that the sporting events seem to be more popular than in year’s past. One sporting event that has drawn much controversy is luge. This sport is usually unpopular, but a Georgian luger was killed during a practice run before the Olympics started. The death was shown on NBC causing media controversy. However, I believe that this controversy boosted media viewer ratings!

Melvin Hayes said...

I think one of the reasons people are tuning into the Winter Olympics is due to the unfortunate death of the athlete in the Luge competition. That sparked interest because of the tragedy and the weather issues. The injuries that occurred on the downhill skiing events also played in role in the course design. This brought negative attention to the Olympics. The networks have done a good job of showing the American athletes that have an opportunity to win gold medals. I have not watched very much of the Olympics because I don’t find the events very interesting. I watched one episode of the curling event and did not care to see anymore. I just don’t find it very exciting.

Jessica Williams said...

I think that the Olympics are being viewed more by this year than the past Olympics due to the state economy and the general outlook of our country. We have had many negative things happen since the last Olympics were help and the feelings of patriotism have increased in the past few years. We want to believe in our country and support it in whatever means possible and the Olympics are just another part of the support team.
I personally have not been watching much of the Olympic coverage because I have been out of town for work with VERY little free time. I usually enjoy watching the competitions. Of what I have seen the thing that stands out to me is the lack of safety that should have saved the young man’s life that died in the slider competition, Nodar Kumaritashvili. It should have been easily noticed that something like that was able to happen. If they would have just had a safety wall up he would have still be competing today which is very sad to me. I know that they cannot predict everything but something like that is not something that should have happened especially at the Olympics.